Meghan Markle has resumed her official royal duties, following her maternity leave.
On Thursday the 38-year-old duchess carried out her first engagement since son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor was born on May 6: the launch of her Smart Works clothing line at the John Lewis department store in London.
The Duchess spoke about her capsule collection, created in collaboration with the Smart Works charity in partnership with leading British fashion labels Jigsaw, John Lewis & Partners and Marks & Spencer. Fashion designer Misha Nonoo is also a key collaborator on the line, which aims to provide low-cost wardrobe staples to help women entering the workforce.
The just-launched line includes a dress under £20 (about $25 U.S.).
For the event, she wore two pieces from her own collection: the Misha Nonoo shirt and the Jigsaw trousers, paired with a belt by Ralph Lauren.
She told crowds that she was looking to “transform the idea of charity to the community” and to help lift up other women.
“The way that we do that as a woman is we go into our closet and say, ‘I’m going to make a donation,’” she explained. “You don’t just go into your closet and toss into a box what you don’t care about anymore.”
She added: “It’s going into your closet and saying, ‘This is the blazer that I wore when I nailed my first job interview and got my first job and I don’t need that anymore because I’m where I want to be.’
“If you can share that blazer and be part of another woman’s success story, that’s the community.”
— Chris Ship (@chrisshipitv) September 12, 2019
On Thursday, the duchess shared behind-the-scenes photographs of her dropping in on her Smart Works clients during a photoshoot for the capsule collection.
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Last month, The Duchess of Sussex surprised Smart Works clients during the capsule collection shoot in west London…Today, The Duchess, alongside @SmartWorksCharity – in partnership with @InsideJigsaw, @JohnLewisandPartners, @MarksandSpencer and @MishaNonoo – are incredibly proud to reveal to everyone, #TheSmartSet – a five piece capsule collection that will equip the Smart Works clients with the classic wardrobe pieces to help them feel confident as they mobilise back into the work space. • “Since moving to the UK, it has been deeply important to me to meet with communities and organisations on the ground doing meaningful work and to try to do whatever I can to help them amplify their impact. It was just last September that we launched the ‘Together’ cookbook with the women of the Hubb Kitchen in Grenfell. Today, a year later, I am excited to celebrate the launch of another initiative of women supporting women, and communities working together for the greater good. Thank you to the four brands who came together in supporting Smart Works on this special project – placing purpose over profit and community over competition. In convening several companies rather than one, we’ve demonstrated how we can work collectively to empower each other – another layer to this communal success story, that I am so proud to be a part of” – The Duchess of Sussex The collection – which features a shirt, trousers, blazer, dress and tote bag – will be on sale for two weeks starting today, with the objective of selling enough units to give Smart Works the essentials they need to help dress clients for the coming year! For every item bought during the sale of the collection, one will be donated to Smart Works, this 1:1 model allows customers to directly support the Smart Works women by playing a part in their success story – how they look and more importantly, how they feel. Photo © @JennyZarins
While this is her first official engagement since Archie’s birth, she has made a number of public appearances since introducing her baby to the world on May 8.